I don’t know about you guys, but I love October. Not JUST because it signifies Fall (which in Texas is really just post-summer), but because it means I survived September! September is like the death of me. Ironically, it’s the month I used to look forward to the most because it is host to both my husband’s and my birthday! However, being a mom and a teacher has since put a damper on this month. It is like all hell breaks loose during September, and I find myself amongst the masses in the dreaded Rat Race.

It’s quite ridiculous when you think about it. I mean, here I am scheduling, juggling, maneuvering, balancing all kinds of after school activities for the family. I’m running around, neglecting my house, my family time, myself, and especially my time with God. The desire to “keep up” and not miss out is, at times, debilitating.

To make things a bit more intense, and add a level of difficulty to the race, Social Media has made its debut and all activities must now be documented on Facebook (you know, so there’s proof you are, in fact, keeping up). And with that . . . our lives are plum crazy, y’all!! For those of you with multiple kids, the commitments and stress for their futures is just re-donk-u-lous!

I find it CRAZY, in this day and age, that we feel so compelled, so pressured, to comply with what society deems an acceptable course. Obviously, as parents, we have this innate dedication to providing the best opportunities for our kids. But, when does it all just become too much? Where do we draw the line and stop marching in formation to the same boring, predictable outcome? When do we quit the Rat Race and realize that the prize at the end is really just a facade?

I am the first to admit that I get caught up in keeping up with this nonsense. Living in suburbia America pretty much sets you up for dealing with this on a daily basis- it’s in your face constantly. But, let’s be reminded that God did not call us into a life of normalcy. He didn’t create us as unique and original beings only for us to blend in, march in formation, and follow along with the world. NO! He created us to go out and bring people in for Jesus. He gave us each something special, that no one else on earth possesses. This something special is meant to create intrigue, and draw people in, so you can then show them the LOVE of Jesus!

However, that something special must be sought out, honed, and fought for. And as ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes it’s easier to just go with the flow of communal chaos, follow the course that everyone else is on, never veering off into uncharted territory. Seeking and searching requires work, something most of us just don’t have time for. It takes guts, and TRUST IN THE LORD, to seek out all that He has for us.

I say “guts” because charting a new course will most likely mean that you WILL NOT be following everyone around you. You WILL NOT be committing to days and hours of practices, games, tournaments, multiple sports, a years worth of salary for uniforms/costumes, accessories, and trips, and your kids probably WON’T have the latest $100 t-shirt or leggings. You WILL, however, be committing to a life full of adventure and a schedule that is still full, but is now full of a more fulfilling purpose. Purpose that means more than just a certified community checklist. A purpose that no post on Facebook could ever do justice to. A purpose that is bigger than you, bigger than your kids’ activities AND your worry for their futures (oh yes, your kids ARE NOT your world, people!!), and bigger than anything your heart could imagine.

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

When we commit to God, and focus on keeping up with our spiritual self, rather than the psychotic Rat Race of the world, we are committing to making a difference, to serving others. Look at your weekly schedule. What path are you marching on? Furthermore, what is your destination? How much time do you have on that schedule for God? Or, let’s face it, did He even make the cut this week?

All the craziness that we do running in this Rat Race, is setting the tone for our kids’ expectations for themselves. So, what tone are you setting? That life is crazy and we HAVE to keep up. . . or that life is beautiful, and precious, and they have something truly special to add to it? Are you directing them to the ONE SOURCE of true fulfillment? Are you guiding YOURSELF & YOUR FAMILY to the ONE place where TRUE TALENTS can be discovered?

Let’s make a commitment to our UNIQUE selves. Let’s be an example to our kids and our community- that life is full of so much more than mundane monotony! Let’s make time for God and live for Him! Let’s run our own race and leave the psychotic pace of the Rat Race behind. Because, guys, the prize at then end of His race is more precious than we can EVER imagine . . .

jill